The end of homework?


Francois Hollande's government is planning to take the 'home' out of homework, at least for primary school children. It claims that homework is elitist because it favours middle class children who get support from their parents.
However, before pupils jump for joy, the idea is for children to do their homework at school, at the end of the school day.
Critics fear this will just lead to a longer school day and there will be no real difference between the school hours and the homework hour.
However, the education establishment has broadly welcomed the move, saying that homework widens the ability gap between social classes, favouring wealthy, educated families that could either help children themselves or pay for private lessons.
The homework ban, which fulfils a pre-election pledge by Hollande, will be introduced January as part of a general overhaul of the education system.
In fact, legislation banning homework for primary school pupils was passed in 1956 but has never been implemented. Government guidance issued in 1956 said that written homework "can only bring tiredness that is prejudicial to the health and mental balance of the children".
Although the government does not intend to ban homework at secondary schools, ministers want to encourage pupils to do it at school by opening study rooms.
An opinion poll published last week found 68 per cent of parents agreed with the setting of homework for primary pupils.

see also: primary school changes


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